Former Chief of Police Vetted At JFK When Returning From Paris

Hassan Aden

Hassan Aden is a former Police Chief of Greenville, North Carolina.  He is currently senior policy advisor at the Vera Institute of Justice.  Prior to his appointment as Chief of Police for the Greenville, NC Police Department, he served in the Alexandria, Virginia Police Department for 26 years rising to the rank of deputy chief of police.

Aden is a United States citizen who traveled to Paris, France to celebrate his mom’s 80th birthday.

On March 13, 2017, Aden was held for an hour and a half at the JFK airport by Customs and Border Agents.  On his Facebook page, Aden wrote:

“My freedoms were restricted, and I cannot be sure it won’t happen again, and that it won’t happen to my family, my children, the next time we travel abroad.”

“This experience has left me feeling vulnerable and unsure of the future of a country that was once great and that I proudly called my own. This experience makes me question if this is indeed home. My freedoms were restricted, and I cannot be sure it won’t happen again, and that it won’t happen to my family, my children, the next time we travel abroad. This country now feels cold, unwelcoming, and in the beginning stages of a country that is isolating itself from the rest of the world – and its own people – in an unprecedented fashion. High levels of hate and injustice have been felt in vulnerable communities for decades-it is now hitting the rest of America.”

Custom’s agents told Aden that he had to be vetted because his name “was used as an alias by someone on some watch list.”

Aden described the room he was held in as a “back office which looked to be a re-purposed storage facility with three desks and signs stating, “Remain seated at all times” and “Use of telephones strictly prohibited.”

He asked several times, ‘How long of a detention do you consider to be reasonable?” CBP Officer Chow told him that he was not being detained.   Aden was not allowed to leave either.   A new shift officer expedited his release, allowing him to miraculously make his connecting flight.

A spokesperson for Customs and Border Patrol said that all travelers arriving to the United States are subject to CBP inspection.


Posted on 03/31/2017, in civil rights, politics and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 10 Comments.

  1. yahtzeebutterfly

    In this video Democracy Now interview this former police chief as well as another person with a similar detention story:

    Liked by 3 people

  2. Seriously, in an hour and a half no-one could make a phone call to Greenville to verify Mr Aden’s claims?

    Liked by 3 people

    • David,
      That would be one way of doing it. I’m pretty sure too that in his current line of work, his fingerprints are on file with the government.

      Liked by 2 people

  3. Hmmm. Wonder how many times he has complained about the abuses others suffer everyday. Never? But huntin’ just ain’t no fun when you the rabbit.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. crustyolemothman

    The whole concept of the TSA operation, brings back memories of how other nations air ports operated during the cold war. If any of their custom officials even suspected you were up to no good, you were detained and questioned for as long as they deemed necessary. While I do understand the logic behind the process, I do question if it could not be done in a manner that many would not find quite so offensive? What comes after the yuge and greatly beautiful tRump wall? Are checkpoints at the state lines on their agenda? Do we next get marks on our foreheads to show our allegiance to the government? All this in the name of safety?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes, Mothman, there has to balance between protecting our country from terrorists without violating the rights of our citizens and those who are here legally.

      Liked by 2 people

  5. Dear Xena,

    Under the DT administration, I personally feel less safe. Here is a leader that is being ruled by his Alt-right impulses. I do not feel safer with the travel/ Muslim ban when hate crimes have spiked, when mentally ill people can buy guns, when the air we breathe and the water we drink will become more suspect, and when key people running our government like Ezra Cohen are there only because of nepotism etc.

    Hugs, Gronda

    Liked by 2 people

    • Gronda,
      Most people do not feel safe under this administration, and it’s been less than 3 months. People of Mexican descent have been profiled, retained by immigration, and threatened with deportation, although they are U.S. citizens. And, like in this case, there is profiling because of one’s name and the color of their skin.

      Liked by 2 people

  6. I can no longer make sense of this world. Mr. Trump has brought considerable disorder. I believe he is very sick. 🙂


    • Good morning, Micheline! Trump is a businessman, and not a very ethical one. He said back in 1999 that he would only run for President if he knew he would win, and he stated several conditions that were necessary. Looking back, and at his campaign, Trump appealed to people unemployed, and his talk about bringing jobs BACK to America was not only appealing, but was detrimental to former Presidents serving while businesses left America. In a nutshell, there are people who relate to bosses/employers providing for them, more than they relate to politicians making decisions for this country.

      Those who voted for him forgot — leading a country is not the same as being the only decision maker for a company. The United States is not a dictatorship.


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